Animals provide us with companionship (e.g., dogs and cats), recreation (e.g., horses), food (e.g., cattle and pigs), and manual labor (whether an elephant carrying logs in Thailand or a hunting dog retrieving a downed pheasant in South Dakota). Just like humans these animals receive medicines to keep them healthy, and the reasons for producing single-dose veterinary dosage forms is the same as those in humans; to permit delivery of an active in a form that is effective, safe, and able to be handled and administered by the end user. However, when one extends that comparison to long-acting dosage forms, the reasons for developing such a system differs between humans and animals. In the case of humans, the reasons for developing a drug into a long-acting delivery system include the reduction of dose frequency to improve patient compliance, or to improve the efficiency of therapy and thereby improve the health of the patient. In contrast in the veterinary field, the major reasons for developing a drug into a long-acting drug delivery system is to minimize animal handling to reduce the stress to animals from repeated administration and to reduce the cost of treatment in terms of money and time spent by the end user on drug administration. These reasons do not impact on the science used to develop such dosage forms, but they do impact heavily on the outcomes such as the size, shape, volume administered, etc. of the dosage form.

The primary purpose of this chapter is to provide a basic background in the design and evaluation of veterinary dosage forms. It will describe both basic and advanced dosage forms from the perspective of their application. The basic dosage forms are described according to their pharmaceutical characteristics, whereas the descriptions of advanced drug delivery systems are organized according to routes of administration. Throughout this chapter we will provide comparisons between the formulations used for humans and animals. In addition we will highlight factors that influence the development of veterinary dosage forms and describe some of the relevant issues pertaining to the development of veterinary dosage forms.

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